Tyler Rake (Chris Hemsworth) is a fearless black market mercenary with nothing left to lose when his skills are solicited to rescue the kidnapped son of an imprisoned international crime lord. But in the murky underworld of weapons dealers and drug traffickers, an already deadly mission approaches the impossible, forever altering the lives of Rake and the boy.
The very first scene of Sam Hargrave’s Extraction immediately hooks the viewer. We see a bloodied and battered Chris Hemsworth stumbling around and looking utterly defeated. He looks like if he takes one more hit, he could die. Hargrave throws us into the action instantaneously and perfectly sets up the tone for the rest of the movie to come.
Extraction was a movie that I was truthfully dreading to watch. Nothing about the marketing impressed me. I happened to see a commercial for the film on television about a week or so ago, and I actually found myself scoffing after watching it, thinking that it looked like a painfully generic and over-the-top movie with not a lot of fun to be had. Gratefully though, I was wrong.
The first act of the film is easily the biggest problem with the whole thing. It is full of a ton of set-up scenes and it takes a good thirty minutes to actually get pulled into the story. I found myself getting a tad bit restless in that first act due to there being very little of entertainment value. There was lots of exposition and scenes with Chris Hemsworth sleeping on a cliff for some reason.
But once that second act comes into play, the film as a whole picks up in spades. It almost becomes a completely different movie with non-stop, brilliantly filmed action for the rest of the movie onwards. The stunt team that worked on Extraction need extreme praise for their efforts here.
Throughout the years, I have seen countless action movies, and so saying that the action and stunt choreography here truly blew me away should be saying something. A lot of it actually reminded me of the incredible work that is shown and loved in the John Wick franchise. There are dozens of close-quarters, white-knuckled sequences that had me holding my breath.
These moments are further boosted because we feel a genuine connection to the characters as well. At first, Hemsworth’s Tyler Rake seemed like the stereotypical “action movie god” character that comes across as invincible and one-note. However, as the movie progresses and the more we learn about his past, the more interesting he becomes as a whole.
As for the main villain, he was also a character that I was unsure of how to feel about at first. He actually reminded me a lot of the T-1000 from Terminator 2: Judgment Day for an incredibly long time. It wasn’t until the third act that he actually got some characterization and felt a little bit vulnerable.
But dynamic here between Chris Hemsworth and Rudhraksh Jaiswal was the other big standout next to the action. The two feel so authentic in their roles and by the end of it all, I was emotionally wrapped up in their characters and I felt something for both of them. Is the story a little bit familiar? For sure. However, it is fairly interesting and I felt a true connection to the characters. It has its problems, but those seeking a gripping action film are going to have a blast with this one.
Extraction‘s story may be a little familiar, but its absolutely incredible action and stunt work mixed with the lead performances make this an adventure worth experiencing.
Overall Grade: B+
MPAA Rating: R for strong bloody violence throughout, language and brief drug use
Directed by: Sam Hargrave
Distributed by: Netflix
Release Date: April 24, 2020
Running Time: 117 minutes